Published: October 17, 2018
Welcome to the world of skydiving - the world's greatest adventure, and also a major test on patience (we are keeping it real). That mental test derives from a variable that every dropzone operator (and their customers) wishes they could control - the skydiving weather. Throughout history, many skydiving business owners have left the industry, vowing to never work in a trade again where nature can dictate the bottom line.
The Weatherman is More Wrong Than Right
As the skydiving center nearest to New York City, the biggest challenge our guests encounter is travel. Whether using the LIRR or navigating the highways, the majority of our guests have at least an hour or two-hour commute to our business. When the weather is in question, many of our guests understandably don't want to go through the effort of coming to our dropzone to sit on the ground.
In other words, they would like a black and white answer to the question, "Should I come or stay home?" Unless the weather forecast is definitive (and it's not most of the time), answering this question is a challenge for us and here's why: the weatherman is more wrong than right. We know this because we watch the weather religiously. Terms like "partly cloudy" or "mostly cloudy" are vague at best, leaving us in limbo most of the time.
Skydiving Weather Delays
Often, we may not get weathered out completely - but we endure weather delays which translate into delayed reservations which result in antsy guests becoming flat-out angry. As fellow New Yorkers, we get it... nobody likes to wait. All of our time is valuable and we could be doing other things with it.
The reality is it's a safety issue. People can get hurt skydiving when the limits are pushed and we'd rather our guests be upset at us for the inconvenience of waiting as opposed to getting hurt. The takeaway here is patience is required... not just at our facility but at any skydiving facility, from Dubai to LA to right here in Long Island. Weather delays are part and parcel with skydiving, but the reward is worth it!
Weather That Can Delay Your Skydive
Rain - seems obvious, but did you know rain in free fall can be quite painful? When you're falling faster than the raindrops, it can be uncomfortable.
Cloud cover - once the parachute opens, we need to see where to fly to, and a cloud cover can obscure the landing zone.
Wind - the worst case scenario for a skydiving operator is to have a beautiful blue sky while having wind speeds that are beyond safety guidelines. This can be especially frustrating when winds at exit altitude are much higher than the winds on the ground level.
Skydiving Weather Protocol
Unless the skydiving weather forecast is definitive, we will not cancel your reservation. If the weather looks 'iffy', by all means, call us before you depart on your trip to our dropzone; we will try to give you the best answer whether you should come to our facility or not. Chances are we'll be able to skydive, but not without the risk of waiting for the weather to clear. What's needed is patience - the weather is part of the experience.
There is a wise saying in skydiving that must be applied when feeling frustrated about weather delays: "It's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than being in the air wishing you were on the ground."
It's our desire to deliver a life-changing experience, but in the interest of safety, please know you could be inconvenienced by an extended wait time or having your jump canceled altogether if the skydiving weather gods decide not to play along that day. Please be patient... the experience of skydiving is so worth it, we promise!